Updated: Dec 30, 2020
Word Alive! © 2020 Fall Series
Unshakable Hope For Your Shaken World!
Concord Baptist Church of Boston in Milton
Conley Hughes, Jr., Senior Pastor
Tuesday, 29, Dec., 2020
Max Lucado, “Unshakable Hope…” Lesson 11, (Chap. 11)
Devotional Time: “Unshakable Hope” (pp. 115-126)
Joy Always Comes –. The scriptures assure us that our crises, however temporary, inevitably leads to joy It is the expectation of this joy that encourages our hopeful outlook on things. In on of David’s great psalms, he reflects on his experience before King Achish of the Philistines. David had fled to Gath, then the capital of the Philistines, but he was met with ridicule and unwelcome. Fearing for his life, David pretended he was insane, and King Achish ordered him out of his city (cf. 1 Samuel 21:10-15, NLT). David recounts in his reflection of that episode, that the anguish of his crisis was inevitably met with joy (cf. Psalm 34:5, NLT). David’s crisis began with King Saul, who resented the popularity of the young man who was destined to succeed him as king. In the Hebrew tradition, a person had to endure the night, in order to experience the safety of a new day. Each day began after sundown, yielding to initial darkness. The morning light brought joy and celebration. The joyful mood was characteristic of a life refreshed after anguish and pain (cf. Psalm 34:11-12, NLT). The Hebrew word used explicitly here is rinnah (rin-naw), which describes an atmosphere of “shouting” and “gladness.” The root word (ranan) means literally “to sing aloud.” Hope gives us a sense of expectation, that we can confidently wait on God to bring us through our ordeal (cf. Psalm 5:3, NLT). Whatever our difficulties, every occasion of prayer reinforces our expectation that God hears our petitions and will act on them (cf. Psalm 55:17, NLT). The scriptures are filled with the idea that there always will be a moment of retrospection, when God’s people can look back and appreciate the power of God n the midst of our crises (cf. Psalm 59:16, NLT). The joy that is resonate within God’s people creates a desire to “proclaim” the love and faithfulness of our Creator (cf. Psalm 92:2, NLT). Our hope induces joy. There is no joy without hope! Our relationship with God is both cognitive and emotive expressions toward God. We learn about God through His Word and divine ways. The joy of becoming familiar with God, causes us to express our appreciation with outward feelings of joy. The prophet Isaiah tells s that God has tattooed (engraved) us on the palms of His hand (cf. Isaiah 49:16, NLT). Our joy is, as Max Lucado says, because “You are everything to God.” Joy does come to each of us!
The Joy of the Lord Is Our Hope – The seventy years of exile for the Jews who were in Babylonian captivity serves as a teachable background for how hope emerges, despite all difficulties. The length of time we encounter a crisis, does not determine whether or not joy will come. God has destined us to experience joy, after crises and heartbreaks. Seventy years had passed since the Jews had been taken into exile, when Nehemiah, their provincial governor, addressed them. As the surviving generation stood overwhelmed and beleaguered on the very day the restoration of the Temple was completed (March 12,515-16 B.C.), Nehemiah told them that the Lord’s joy was their strength (cf. Nehemiah 8:10, NLT). A different Hebrew word is used in Nehemiah and Ezra. The word chedvah (khed-vaw) encourages “a climate of rejoicing and gladness.” The priest Ezra describes the great day of joy in Jerusalem, at the completion of the restored Temple (cf. Ezra 6:16, NLT). Joy induces activity, that is both planned and spontaneous. This climate also is descriptive of the celebration of Purim by the Jews who defeated Haman’s plan of genocide during Persian exile (cf. Esther 9:2, NLT). It’s often difficult for many of us to be joyful against the backdrop of personal crises, death, illness and lost. But joy is more than mere emotions. It is the realization that God will show us how to get through our crises, and live beyond them. God also can show us how to live with difficulties, and to be triumphant beyond the (cf. 2 Corinthians 12:9, NLT). The psalmist believed in the sufficiency of God in all situations (cf. Psalm 16:11, NLT). Jesus never said we would be exempt from trials and troubles. But He did promise us joy that could never be taken from us (cf. John 16:20;22, NLT). Chara (khar-ah) is a wonderful Greek word used to emphasize what Jesus said. Here, joy means “to be calm,” or “to delight and rejoice.” In his devotional, Unshakeable Hope, author and pastor Max Lucado says, “Joy comes because Jesus comes… God loves you, and because He does, you can be assured joy will come.” Jude in addressing the early Christians assured them that God would protect them. He will bring them before His presence with “great joy’ (cf. Jude 24, NLT).
What We Believe
With God, joy is inevitable: it does come!
1. Joy is God’s way of bringing resolution to a crisis!
2. Joy is the realization of God’s presence and peace!
Psalm 34:5, NLT
“For His anger lasts only a moment, but His favor lasts a lifetime. Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning.”
Psalm 34:11-12, NLT
“You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing. You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy, that I might sing praises to you and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever!”
Psalm 5:3, NLT
“Listen to my voice in the morning, Lord. Each morning I bring my request to you and wait expectantly.”
Psalm 55:17, NLT
“Morning, noon, and night I cry out in my distress, and the Lord hears my distress.”
Psalm 59:16, NLT
“But as for me, I will sing about your power. Each morning I will sing with joy about your unfailing love. For you have been my refuge,a place of safety when I am in distress.”
Psalm 92:2, NLT
“It is good to proclaim your unfailing love in the morning. Your faithfulness in the evening.”
Nehemiah 8:10 NLT
“And Nehemiah continued,“Go and celebrate with a feast of rich foods and sweet drinks,and share gifts of food with people who have nothing prepared. This is a sacred day before the Lord. Don’t be dejected and sad, for the joy of the Lord is your strength!”
Ezra 6:16, NLT
“The Temple of God was dedicated with great joy by the people of Israel, the priests, the Levites, and the rest of the people who had returned from exile.”
Esther 9:22, NLT
“He told them to celebrate these days with feasting and gladness and by giving gifts of food to each other and presents to the poor. This would commemorate a time when the Jews gained relief from their enemies, when their sorrow was turned into gladness and their mourning into joy.
Psalm 16:11, NLT
“You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you for-ever.”
John 16:20;22, NLT“I tell you the truth, you will weep and mourn over what is going to happen to me, but the world will rejoice. You will grieve, but your grief will suddenly turn to wonderful joy…So you have sorrow now,but I will see you again, then you will rejoice, and no one can rob you of that joy.”
Jude 24“Now all glory to God who is able to keep you from falling away and will bring you with great joy into His glorious presence without a single fault.”